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Local News

DiCianni: 'I won't apologize for standing up for cops'

Pete DiCianni
Pete DiCianni

Amid continuing fallout from his actions during a recent pro-police rally in Elmhurst, DuPage County Board member Pete DiCianni says he has no intention of stepping down from office.

More than 1,400 people have signed a change.org petition calling for the Elmhurst Republican to resign. The online petition was started by a Hinsdale group supporting Black Lives Matter.

In addition, at least two county board Democrats want DiCianni censured for the way he confronted counterprotesters during the "Back the Blue" event on June 27 outside the Elmhurst police station. And nearly 250 people want to participate in public comment about DiCianni during next week's county board meeting.

On Tuesday morning, DiCianni briefly addressed the controversy during a meeting of the county's health and human services committee. DeCianni, who is chairman of the committee, spoke after written comments from seven critics -- two of whom do not live in DuPage County -- were read aloud.

"My passion got to me, I apologize for that," DiCianni said. "But I do not apologize for standing up for the men and women in blue that protect our community."

After the meeting, DiCianni said he has no plans to resign and has received phone calls and messages of support from roughly 1,000 people. He also questioned whether county board rules allow for a censure, which is essentially a public admonishment.

"There are no rules to do that," he said.

Board members Elizabeth Chaplin of Downers Grove and Mary FitzGerald Ozog of Glen Ellyn are pushing for the censure.

Chaplin said DiCianni showed a lack of respect for the safety of others by "yelling" at counterprotesters without wearing a mask during a pandemic.

In one video from the event, DiCianni is seen holding a homemade "We back police" sign and talking in defense of the Elmhurst Police Department.

"We've got a great PD," he says on the video. "We respect everybody. We love this town. We love our cops."

He says "God bless" and walks away.

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